Summary: If you want to win in the end, don't marvel at the world's power; instead; worship God alone and wait for Him to act.
Once upon a time there was an eccentric old king who wanted to give his throne to one of his two sons, but he didn’t know which one. So he decided to organize a horse race, in which the son who owned the slowest horse would become king. Each son was afraid that the other would cheat by running his horse at less the speed than it was capable, so they consulted the king’s advisor. He had only two words of advice, which insured that the race would be absolutely fair.
I’m not going to give you those two words just yet, but don’t you think it strange that a king should decree that the loser wins and the winner loses. That’s not the way our world works; and yet, there is such a King in heaven. His name is Jesus, and he tells us that the losers will inherit His Kingdom, not the winners.
Do you feel like a loser sometimes? Then this message is for you. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Revelation 13, Revelation 13, where we see how the losers in this world really end up winning in the end. In this chapter, Satan, the old dragon, is mad. He has been frustrated in his attempts to destroy God’s people, the Jews, so he releases a 10-horned, 7-headed beast on the earth. Look at it…
Revelation 13:1-2 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. (ESV)
What in the world is this beast? Well, Daniel, the Old Testament prophet, gives us a clue. He had a similar vision, which he describes in Daniel 7. Only, instead of just one beast, Daniel saw four beasts coming out of the sea. The first was like a lion. The second was like a bear. The third was like a leopard, and the fourth he describes as a “terrifying and frightening” beast, which was “very powerful” and had “10 horns,” just like this beast here in Revelation 13.
As it turns out, these four beasts are four world-powers, which Daniel saw long before most of them came on the scene. The first was the Babylonian Empire – the lion. The second was the Medo-Persian Empire – the bear. The third was the Greek Empire – the leopard, and the third was the Roman Empire – this “terrifying and frightening” beast. Daniel’s 4th beast is the same beast we have here in Revelation 13, the Roman Empire, which will actually rise again during the great tribulation to come.
Revelation 13:3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. (ESV)
The Roman Empire was fatally wounded when the Barbarians ransacked the city of Rome in AD 476, but the Roman Empire will not stay dead. Indeed…
THE EMPIRE WILL STRIKE BACK with a vengeance unequaled in the history of the world.
Rome will indeed rise again out of the ash heap of history to dominate the world once again. Only next time she’ll come with “10 horns” (vs.1), or 10 powers. According to Daniel 7:24 and Revelation 17:12, 10 rulers will join forces to create this new world-power, and they will dominate the world during the great tribulation.
In fact, we see the stage being set right now for this in the nations that once made up the old Roman Empire. That empire stretched from Great Britain in the north down through Europe. It ringed the Mediterranean basin and extended into some parts of the Middle East. Well, many of these same nations are coming together in an alliance now called the European Union. They include nations from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and even Turkey, which is now in the process of joining. That was not possible before the breakup of the Soviet Union.
It sure looks like the Roman Empire is emerging again just like Daniel and Revelation predict. In fact, several years ago (July 2006), the President of the European Union announced the publication of all EU news in Latin, the language of the old Roman Empire (Jimmy DeYoung, Prophecy Today, July 11, 2006). Even if some question whether or not the European Union is indeed a revival of the Old Roman Empire, the European Union sure sees themselves in that light.
They are the 7th head on this beast from the sea in Revelation 13. The other six heads represent the six world empires that came before: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Ancient Rome. The seventh head represents the Revived Roman Empire in its final form before Jesus comes again to set up His Kingdom.